China And Argentina Discuss JF-17 Sale | RAF Sends Eurofighters To South East Asia | India Gets Aircraft For Second Rafale Squadron
Sikorsky won a $22.5 million contract modification, which adds scope for the procurement of four VH-92A aircraft MT-1 cabin interiors and MT-1 spares in support for depot level stand up for the Presidential Helicopters Replacement Program. The new Marine One, also referred to as VH-92A, is the next-generation presidential transport helicopter being developed for the US Marine Corps (USMC). Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin company, is responsible for the production of the VH-92A helicopter. Work will take place in Washington, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Connecticut. Expected completion will be in July 2022.
Argentinian media reported that a Chinese team is in the country for sales discussion of the JF-17 to the local air force. The team from China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) is negotiating the sale of 12 fighters.
Middle East & Africa
The Pakistan Navy (PN) announced that keel-laying ceremonies were recently held for both the third Type 054A/P frigate and the third Milgem Class corvette on order for the service. The keel for the frigate, which is one of four vessels of the class being acquired from China, was laid in late April at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai: about three months after the same yard launched the second Type 054A/P frigate for the service. The keel laying ceremony for Pakistan Navy’s third Jinnah Class (MILGEM type) corvette was held on May 1st at Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY), Turkey. In July 2018, a contract was signed between Military Factory and Shipyard Management Corporation (ASFAT) of Turkey and the Pakistani National Defense Ministry Ammunition Production and Karachi Shipyard for the construction of four Milgem Class vessels.
The Royal Air Force is preparing to send its Eurofighters and Voyager aerial refueling tanker to South East Asia for Exercise Bersama Lima 2021 in October. The British government had earlier announced that the Carrier Strike Group will be participating in the same exercise as well. This marks the second time that a RAF contingent is joining a British aircraft carrier for the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) exercise, usually carried out off Peninsular Malaysia in the South China Sea. The first was back in 1988 when HMS Ark Royal came to the Far East for Exercise Lima Bersatu.
A press release issued last week by the Swedish Ministry of Defense revealed that Sweden and its neighbor Finland intend to jointly procure a new type of service rifle for their armies. The Firearm Blog website, which reported the news, said that Sweden currently uses the AK5, a Swedish version of the FN FNC that uses 5.56x56mm NATO ammunition, while Finland uses a variety of RK 62 and RK 95 (7.62x39mm) rifles. The question remains which rifle will be procured, and what caliber of ammunition will be used.
The sixth batch of three more Rafale fighter jets took off from France for India last week, the Indian embassy in France said. They will be part of the Indian Air Force’s second squadron of the Rafale jets. This boosts the Indian Air Force’s Rafale count to 21. The first Rafale squadron is based in Ambala air force station. A squadron comprises around 18 aircraft.
Watch: Which Countries are Buying JF-17 Fighter